If A Page In Thy Science Book Offend Thee, Pluck It Out

Headline: Gilbert school board votes to rip abortion page out of textbook

“And if thy science book offend thee
Pluck it out and cast it from thee”
Matthew 5 was quite explicit; we should cut the cancer out!
If a textbook says “abortion”
In one chapter—just a portion—
We should exorcise the demon—tear the page if there’s a doubt!

Lop your hand off; squish your eye out
See, this textbook is a tryout
Will you heed the word of Jesus, and reject the things he hates?
Rip a page right from your textbook
Leave it wounded; find the next book
If the books are deemed offensive, they deserve their heathen fates!

Though the cover may say “Science”
We shall rip it, in defiance,
Cos the law imposes penalties for telling kids the truth
So we’ll tear offensive pages
And defend the rock of ages
The destruction of some lessons in protection of our youth!

The folks who actually wrote the science textbook seemed to think that a discussion about reproduction should reasonably include a sentence or two on legal means of contraception. Silly them.

GILBERT, Ariz. — The Gilbert Public Schools Governing Board voted this week to redact a section on abortion from a science book used in a high school honors curriculum.

Because school board members know better than textbook authors what belongs in a science textbook.

“You would expect a discussion of abortion maybe to show up in actual sex-ed materials. That’s why I didn’t like abortion in a biology book that all it discusses is natural processes. There’s nothing natural about abortion,” said Daryl Colvin, acting Gilbert school board president.

The discussion in Gilbert was first brought up by a conservative Christian law organization called the Alliance Defending Freedom. According to board member Jill Humpherys, Alliance Defending Freedom had complained to GPS Superintendent Christina Kishimoto over the summer.

At Tuesday night’s school board meeting, the board voted 3 to 2 to nix the abortion section of the book, citing a recently signed state law that says school lessons on reproduction must give preference to childbirth and adoption over abortion.

“These textbooks were written before the state law so the easiest, simplest, cheapest way to bring them into compliance with state law is to excise that section. It’s only a page,” Colvin said.

Not much natural about the Alliance Defending Freedom, either, but their fingerprints are all over the removal of the page.

Hey, though, for once the comments at the story are [at least mostly] thoughtful!

Fechner Day, 2014!

164 years ago today, Gustav Theodor Fechner awoke from a dream which would change his life, and the course of science itself. In his dream, Fechner had discovered the key to studying sensation and perception, the method to measure the mind itself. Of course we cannot simply turn up some switch and increase your awareness, or your sensitivity, or anything about your experience of the world; prior to Fechner’s dream, the only way to study your thoughts was… to think about them. Introspection, essentially. It could not be systematically controlled-indeed, the very thought of controlling the mind, that non-physical part of Descartes dualistic view of Man, was ludicrous. [Read more…]

Spock, Kirk, Atheism, and Freethought Blogs

I’ve just met a straw-man called “Spocking”; it’s shocking,
But some might believe it’s how atheists act!
Where logic is king, not emotion—the notion
That every decision is based upon fact
These atheists put their reliance in science
Forgetting illusory “feelings” or “dreams”
Eschewing all base superstition; their mission
Is reason, perfected… or that’s how it seems.

What all people need, to be working, is “Kirking”,
Humanity’s hero—with all of his flaws
Kirk’s quirks are not bugs with space creatures—they’re features!
And Spock’s an affront to humanity’s cause!
It’s Kirkish to strive, boldly going—no knowing
The odds, cos what counts is emotion, not thought
The godless feel nothing, quite clearly (or nearly)
They’re cold, heartless bastards… except that they’re not. [Read more…]

Demon-Spotting In The 21st Century

In the depths of my skull there’s a demon that’s schemin’,
Controlling my thinking—or that’s what I’m told
It’s why I have such a reliance on science,
And gave up on demons at seven years old
At least, that’s the story I’ll tell you—but well you
Might wonder if demons are crafting my lies
And each silly thing that I’m saying, they’re playing
A practical joke in their demon disguise

Psychologists look to the brain, to explain, you
Are acting because of some structural flaw;
They laugh at demonic possession—a session
Of therapy, rather than prayer, as a law.
But really, it’s demons! I’m haunted! I’ve taunted
Religion too often; I’m paying the price!
I’ll trust my online diagnosis; “neurosis”
Is anti-religious—a demon’s device! [Read more…]

There’s Miracles, And Then There’s Miracles

The stories in our narratives
Grow stranger in re-telling—
Man, you should have seen the fish that got away!
And a parent’s tale of family lore
Can often be compelling—
You’d have seen it, if you hadn’t slept that day!
They promote a faith in fantasy
They should, perhaps, be quelling
So they see their child’s thinking led astray
But it seems to serve a purpose:
It’s the Catholic faith they’re selling
So a miracle’s a miracle, ok? [Read more…]